SOL trying to change the CE UI?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/25 10:16 -04:00, original URI:

Pat O. asks over in the Suggestion Box:

I am not playing by the rules as usual.  I am attempting to create a Windows CE device that supports on the fly language changes.  Just because that was obviously not hard enough I am also using several Far Eastern languages.  My topic suggestion is: What are the things that need to be changed to support a new language?  Even better would be here is how you create a platform that changes language without a reset, but I don't expect that.  BTW, I am not using the Windows CE Shell as you have probably guessed.

Pat O

Cognex, Corp.

It pulls me back to the past and posts like What it means to be in the default MOBILE install but the honest truth is that CE is a platform that is mostly at the mercy of the ones who build the platform for the device because that is how support gets added, really.

It is one of the most painful problems behind the whole Zune thing, the fact that if you have no way to get support on the device you have no way to see support in a language....

That support includes font, input method, collation, locale support and so on. Without it, support of a language can be a real problem.

Though I sense that Pat is not just talking about language support but also user interface language?

If that is true the answer is even more easily and obviously pretty much NO WAY except for the fact that if you are controlling the application that acts as the CE Shell then you can show whatever you like -- in which case you are back to the language support issue....

And that means locale, keyboard, fonts, and so on -- none of which will be there and et up unless you control the building of the OS atop the device.


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# Mike Dimmick on 25 Oct 2007 1:24 PM:

You can support MUI on Windows CE, if you're the platform designer, by defining SYSGEN_MULTIUI in your Sysgen variables. To find out if your platform designer did so, you can open CeConfig.h in the platform's SDK Include folder and look for COREDLL_MULTIUI. Still, I don't think you can add your own languages to an OEM-supplied platform, you'd have to ask them to generate the .mui files appropriately.

Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC and later versions support MUI. Most devices will only come with one language compiled in, though, as ROM space is typically very tight (the whole OS normally has to fit in 64MB and Windows Mobile is very big!)

For more on this, see

# Michael S. Kaplan on 25 Oct 2007 1:32 PM:

Ah yes, forgot about that -- though I assume it is included as often as Uniscribe is? :-)

# Mike Dimmick on 26 Oct 2007 1:05 PM:

Depends what the New Platform Wizard does, probably. I have a CE 5.0 evaluation installed so I can look at the shared source (often necessary for working around the places where Windows Mobile doesn't have an API for something that the UI can do...) but it's expired. Hey, you don't need the environment to look at source code!

My old Windows CE 4.1 Emulation Edition doesn't add MULTIUI to a new PDA platform but the exact base platform you choose will probably guide this decision and it may have changed in later CE versions. As for how to add it: in the catalog, drill down under Core OS to International, then drag and drop Multilingual User Interface to your platform's Features pane.

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